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Another Group "Stealing Ground Zero" - The Drawing Center

In case you thought the International Freedom Center was the only abomination set to be opened at Ground Zero, the New York Daily News finds another equally vile tenant, which they identify in this editorial.

We have nothing against silly, self-important, half-baked pieces of "political art" per se. If someone of the "political artist" persuasion chooses to believe that a drawing of a jetliner dive-bombing a naked, spread-legged woman constitutes a sagacious 9/11 statement - "Homeland Security," this specimen is titled - then fine, draw away, and let the product freely hang in whatever private gallery chooses to display the thing, and let all who would admire it come around and do so all they please.

But not at Ground Zero.

Works such as "Homeland Security" belong nowhere near the sobering pit where the twin towers stood, but the prospect of such a sacrilege arises because Gov. Pataki and his lower Manhattan minions have given space there to a SoHo art gallery called The Drawing Center. What were they thinking? Did they even take two minutes to glance through The Drawing Center's catalogue, which, besides "Homeland Security," also features such artistic creations as:

  • The infamous hooded Abu Ghraib figure, the wires falling from his wrists to arrange themselves into the word "Liberty."
  • A connect-the-dots organizational chart fancifully linking George W. Bush to Osama Bin Laden and former Texas Gov. John Connally and some oilman here and some financier there.
And so on and so forth. In short, it's plain as day that The Drawing Center does not bring to the downtown planning a single-minded respect for the memories of the dead - which is, after all, the point of a Ground Zero memorial, we would think.
That's perhaps the understatement of the day.

Gov. Pataki, who supposedly has Presidential ambitions in 2008, would be wise to quickly sweep away both the IFC and The Drawing Center. Leave the politics out of Ground Zero, Governor, or you'll be the one left out of politics in 2008...

See also: Violated ... again - [New York Daily News]


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Another Group "Stealing Ground Zero" - The Drawing Center:

» Peter Levine linked with don't call it "freedom"

» Riding Sun linked with Pataki's empty Ground Zero promise

Comments (12)

I'm tired of this crap. Ble... (Below threshold)

I'm tired of this crap. Bleh.

...and Pataki ain't getting the nomination no matter what he does. So it's pointless complaining to him.

You have seen this, haven't... (Below threshold)
I trust all these people as... (Below threshold)

I trust all these people as far as I can throw them.

Anyway, who were the people that vetted these groups to begin with? What benighted committee members thought this would be okay, and would slide?

meep....go read the fine pr... (Below threshold)

meep....go read the fine print (at the very bottom of their website page) as to who is on the Board of Directors and other Directors of Directors of Advisors and such...at the website for the project itself.

If I find it later, I'll return and leave a link, but it's the website for the 09/11 memorial project rebuild, complete with all the names of everyone "officially" involved. A huge array of liberals and liberal interest group partisans, let me put it that way.

I wonder what Hillary Clinton's and Bill Clinton's hand has been in enabling this (yet again) grotesque miscarriage of democracy.

Pataki should stop the project as it is, get the families and survivors from 09/11 together with everyone else who was present that day and soon afterward (firefighters, police, city workers, everyone) and then hold a forum with results expected and delivered after, say, a week of debating/discussing the most respectable and commendable aspects that can be included in a 09/11 memorial and rebuild.

The guy that I've seen on FOX News, who is the "president" of the group that's top-listed as rebuilding the Towers and the memorial itself, that guy seems quite irrational. He continues to say that "the families" determined the currently questionable content, while what he's unable to admit it that he and his have almost certainly used what the families expressed inorder to violate the intent of what the families expressed.

Meaning, they've taken what was expressed, then bastardized the intent to accommodate an ulterior message, meanwhile continuing to outrageously claim that they're "doing what the families expressed was important to them".

The guy gave me the creeps, the few times I heard/saw him speaking about his plans and intentions on FOX.

Wiabang had earlier threads... (Below threshold)

Wiabang had earlier threads on this issue, with earlier links...there's the starting article from the Wall Street Journal, names some names.

The issue of "what freedom means" and/or "the importance of freedom" that the surviving and survivors' families expressed and the victims' families also, has been used by fantatics to express social problems throughout history and little to honor the actual disaster that occured on 09/11 at the hand of lunatic, mad men.

Sorry, Wizbang. <a href="h... (Below threshold)

Sorry, Wizbang. This group seems to be a front for Soros and the ACLU and is the most egregious propogandist of "freedom" involved in the group I've yet to read. They respect and honor freedom by destroying it.

Sorry, again, to clarify...... (Below threshold)

Sorry, again, to clarify...the guy I am referring to who has appeared on FOX as a proponent of the misguided Memorial plans, is not Tom Bernstein.

Copy of Letter sent to the ... (Below threshold)
m negroponte:

Copy of Letter sent to the Daily News

RE: Nutty 9/11 Art Nixed

Let’s look at some facts: The Drawing Center has been a vital member of the Soho community for almost 30 years and mounted major exhibitions of Louise Bourgeois, Victor Hugo, Ellsworth Kelly, Henri Michaux, and many other world famous artists. It is a small museum that has also supported younger artists for decades and help launch countless careers. But in a flash of rhetoric, you attempt to destroy years of hard work and good faith by implying The Drawing Center is some flimsy institution that is only focused on artists with an anti-American bent. The Daily News might have confirmed the important role The Drawing Center has played in Soho for years by doing the kind basic research that even a 10 year old is capable of. But clearly that would not have confirmed your mudslinging agenda. Furthermore, consider those of us who have lived in Lower Manhattan for years and experienced the devastation of 9/11 up close? Why don’t we deserve representation at the site? I can think of no other institution other than The Drawing Center that might better represent the artists who helped settle lower Manhattan years before any one else was interested in the area.

The only person I can think of who might have been impressed with such lousy news reporting is the late Senator Joseph McCarthy, who’s dark past seems to be hovering over us these days. You should be ashamed of such destructive and pathetic reporting.

Michel Negroponte
Soho Resident

PS For the record, my brother, George, is the Co-Director of The Drawing Center. Our oldest brother, John, is the Director of National Intelligence and a member of the current Bush cabinet. Though my brothers may not have expressed their opinions with the same disdain for your newspaper, I know they would not disagree with the essence of my letter.

Gov. Pataki keeps saying th... (Below threshold)

Gov. Pataki keeps saying that he will make sure that the politicization and anti-American sentiments of the Drawing Center and IFC will not come to pass.

Here's the thing. As the guy who is not only Governor of New York, but selects the leadership of the Port Authority (owner of the WTC site), selects LMDC leadership (authority vested with rebuilding power over Lower Manhattan), Battery Park City Authority, MTA, etc., he's got the power to tell his Public Authority chairs to not only stop the nonsense, but to get things done ASAP (or at least as fast as the development process can go). If he wants to stop the IFC and Drawing Center, he can simply tell the LMDC to stop - and they'll stop because he'll cut the money off, redesign the cultural center component, or force the LMDC to eliminate its cultural component altogether.

He hasn't taken that, or any concrete, step. He's still hoping that the LMDC and PANY can proceed and hope that this controversy fades away.

Once the Freedom Center and... (Below threshold)

Once the Freedom Center and the Drawing Center are built at Ground Zero, what is Pataki really going to do if they start holding why-they-hate-us style exhibitions and speakers? Destroy the buildings?

Once these things are built, their backers will have carte blanche to do whatever they want. If anyone tries to criticize them, they will play the "Free Speech" card.

The only solution is to keep the memorial site focused on the memorial alone.

I understand Michel Negropo... (Below threshold)

I understand Michel Negroponte's point, but how does he feel about the specific pieces of
art that are in question-- or have been covered by the press? Does he feel those have a place and deserve a voice at the WTC site?

What do I think of the 4 pi... (Below threshold)

What do I think of the 4 pieces of art that are in question (out of the tens of thousands shown since 1981)? I'm not the curator, and whether I like them or not isn't the real issue. Americans seem to cherish free speech, unless the subject matter offends them. So then what is free speech? Don't we have to be more rigorous. And tolerant?






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